August 25, 2012
Love the season of strawberries! Strawberries in chocolate, strawberries with cheese, strawberries baked in goods – yum! And look at the size of this one!
August 23, 2012
Red velvet cream cheese brownies inspired by Yoyomax12 on YouTube! They were definitely pretty but I would tweak the recipe more next time – needs more chocolate!
August 18, 2012
Took my family to visit the Ekka, Queensland’s largest annual agricultural show.
Of course, had to make everyone try the iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae:
Approximately 13 tonnes of strawberries are used to make the Ekka Strawberry Sundaes each year. The Ekka Strawberry Sundae is mouth-watering top to bottom, from the crunchy wafer cone to the smooth vanilla ice-cream, sweet chopped strawberries, delicious gourmet ice-cream, swirls of fresh cream and topped off with a tasty fresh Queensland strawberry.
August 20, 2012
Very lucky to not only be able to celebrate my 25th birthday this year with my family in Australia, but also my mom’s 50th!
Mike and I took my family down to visit the Gold Coast and have lunch at the Four Winds Revolving Restaurant. Although the food was quite lacking (I rate this restaurant 3.5/5), the view was amazing and definitely worth the visit.
Waiting for the train to Gold Coast!
Taking pictures at Surfers Paradise 🙂
Fourwinds Revolving Restaurant at the top of Crowne Plaza Hotel
In the lobby of Crowne Plaza
The restaurant, lovely views!
Elevator shots! 😛
Cake, cards and presents at home!
Chocolate lime cupcakes – I’m sorry your cake isn’t as extravagant as it deserves to be mommy!
So sad… our last activity together! 😦 My mom and siblings are now somewhere across the Pacific Ocean back to Canada… miss them already!
The five of us went down to Sydney on Friday, August 03 for a short visit… $45/person each way – woo hoo!
Mike and I had to head back on the 6th because of class but my family stayed until the 9th before heading to Perth.
Here’s a sorta-long summary of what we did!
Day 1 – Aug 3
Landed around 3:30pm and was picked up by Chet Muoi and his wife!
Went right away to check into our residence at Oaks Hyde Park Plaza. A great price for the location but the apartment we had was definitely too small for 5 people. Sleeping 3 nights on a dinky sofabed did terrible wonders on my back!
Immediately headed out. We walked down to Darling Harbour and up to visit the Sydney Aquarium. Very lively with beautiful views by the harbour.
The aquarium was well worth the visit! Lots of fun 🙂
About to head in…
All manta rays have such cute faces!
The fish, they cry crystal tears!
Fluorescent jelly fish and enormous crab
Nemo! Dory! I’ve found you!
We finished the map and got our gold coins! Chocolate, who could resist?
We headed back down to Chinatown for a visit and ended the night with a late Korean dinner – yum yum!
Day 2 – Aug 4
Woke up early to check out the rooftop facilities – heated pool, jacuzzi and a great view – what more do you need?
By 10:30am, we were on the train and headed to Cabramatta to meet my dad’s family.
A great dim sum lunch where we got to meet some family members for the first time and catch up with many others.
Lunch was followed by a walk around Viettown and then ‘the rounds’ What does that mean? Going from one person’s house to another for a few reasons: to check out their home, to talk some more, and to eat of course 😉
We visited a total of 5 homes and soon it was time for dinner! Amazing food at a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant that left us completely stuffed.
We ended the night at The Star Casino. I cannot understand the appeal of losing money but lots of people looked like they were having fun 😛
Day 3 – Aug 5
A day to ourselves, yay! My mom came down with a migraine so didn’t join us for the first part. The four of us headed out to see more of the city. We decided the first stop would be Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.
Onwards to the Sydney Fish Market, but on the way there, we got distracted by a lovely cafe and tasty treats.
When we finally got there, I wanted to leave immediately, haha. I really don’t like crowds… and it was SO crowded. Asians everywhere, haha. We did pick up a bottle of wine and some sashimi to share, very tasty!
Headed back going through Darling Harbour again to check it out during the day. Then we walked over to see… (you guessed it!) the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
Then hopped on the free bus (love the free bus) back to our residence to pick up my mom for the evening activities – luckily she was feeling better!
First up, Mme Tussaud’s! Had a great time ‘meeting’ all the famous people!
Then over to the Sydney Tower Eye to check out Sydney at night – so pretty!
Then back to Opera House to see it again but against a black sky!
Finally ended the night with a super late but amazing Japanese dinner!
Day 4 – Aug 6
Wake up, pack up, go home! 😦 No time to do anything but haul ourselves to the airport, eat breakfast and head back to Brisbane! Luckily… our flights weren’t delayed! 🙂
August 14, 2012
Mike, Fi, Matt and I went to the last show of Med Revue on Tuesday – great job everyone! Lovely to see so many talented people get together!
From the UQMS website:
Med Revue brings together students from all four years of medicine in a production that takes place over three nights in August. People from all backgrounds become involved in this stage & screen spectacular, be it through acting, singing, dancing, playing instruments, constructing sets, making costumes, editing videos, controlling lighting, or making oversized condoms out of a hula-hoops and cling wrap for a ballet called sperm lake… Suffice it to say, the Revue is a lot of fun.Whether you are a performer drawn to the limelight or a backstage crew member content with the dark, the Med Revue is for you. An original play penned by the mad medical minds from the year gives each revue a unique theme, with past titles including “The Sound of Mucous”, “Count Docula”, and “DoctorPussy”. The play involves live music from the exceptional Med Revue band, dancers and actors from all four years, and a backstage crew who work tirelessly behind the scenes.For three nights of each year pilgrims from all around the world migrate to Brisbane to watch the unveiling of brilliance at the Schonell Theatre. The overextended high kicks of the dancers are a sight to be seen, the low notes of the tenors can’t be heard by the human ear and the acting makes Joaquin Phoenix look sane. Some like to call it the best production ever made, the more humble of us simply call it ‘Med Revue’.
Original skits performed on stage and screen supplement the play and guarantee a great night out for all. Over the last few years the Med Revue has played to sell-out crowds of more than 1200 people in the Schonell Theatre, with all proceeds of the event going to charity. It is an amazing production to be part of and a great way to meet fellow students in other years, so go on – get involved.
Aug 11, 2012
Today, I finally received the letter I was expecting. A message from UQ telling me I have still not paid my tuition and that it is now overdue and I will be charged an additional $100. Should I not pay by August 31, my enrollment will be canceled and my study status will be reported to immigration authorities. Bleh!
In case you’re wondering, I haven’t paid because I’m waiting for the Canadian dollar to climb against the Australian dollar. Even with the $100 penalty fee, if the dollar goes up a few cents, I can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars – especially when tuition is $50K/year!
August 08, 2012
Time to collect all 6 Coca-Cola London 2012 Olympic games glasses! We only have 2 so far…
…glasses will be available at McDonald’s and come in a series of colors – Pink, Green, Blue, Aqua, Charcoal and Purple. Each glass is embossed with an official London 2012 Olympic Games sport pictogram – Gymnastics, Athletics, Swimming, Basketball, Football and Cycling.
July 22, 2012
Mike and I took my siblings to visit the Brisbane Powerhouse today, which, taken from their website, is
Nestled on the beautiful banks of Brisbane River (beside New Farm Park) the former power station has become a distinct landmark, both as a stunning industrial creation and as a hub for everything creative, including theatre, music, comedy, film, visual arts, festivals and ideas.
What some people don’t know, is that there are free music and comedy shows every Sunday! It is a hit or miss depending on your tastes, but if you’re in Brisbane, make sure to check it out!
The music show (Live Spark) starts at 3:30pm and consists of 2x45min sets featuring 2 different artists. Then there’s a break before the comedy show (Livewired) starts at 6:30pm. Great way to spend the day – bring some friends and have a picnic in the beautiful New Farm Park, then head indoors in the afternoon to enjoy the shows!
We then stopped for a late dim sum dinner at King of Kings in Chinatown – yum!
July 24, 2012
We were finally able to book a tour at the XXXX Brewery in Milton after a couple failed attempts! $25/person for the tour and 4x285ml beer tastings!
The XXXX Ale House and Brewery Tours provide an unbeatable way to experience an Australian icon up close and discover its proud legend.
The Castlemaine Perkins Brewery was established at Milton, just west of Brisbane city, way back in 1878.
Overall a good time, although I was a little disappointed that many of the machines weren’t running that day – how unlucky! Also, because it was a functional brewery, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures during the tour. We did, however, take a few afterwards while enjoying our beers and fries! Tried: XXXX Summer Bright Lager, Gold and Bitter as well as James Squire Porter and Pale Ale. Not a fan of: Porter haha
July 21, 2012
Tan, Christine and Yoni joined us for a hike up Mt Ngungun (Glasshouse Mountains). Great weather! I’m glad it was nice and cool because I was still sweating like a cow 😛 Beautiful view up top and definitely worth the trip.
Finally there and ready to head up!
Slowly heading up!
Family picture… hahahaha!
Made it back down safely! 😉
In case you don’t know, FADU = Family Adventures Down Under = here’s what our family is up to while they’re visiting me in Australia!
You may also be wondering why I’m skipping days. Don’t worry, it’s not because I can’t read a calendar! It’s simply because we didn’t do anything exciting enough to take pictures or share with you 🙂
July 20, 2012
Visited the Brisbane Botanic Garden with Yoni. There we saw pretty flowers, climbed funky trees, took pictures in front of
a my beautiful building house and petted super smooth bamboo. We then proceeded to South Bank to watch the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises. Our group left the cinema with mixed reviews but I thought it was a great movie! Although I do think Batman should not be allowed to qualify as a superhero – he clearly does not have any superpowers. Ended the night with sushi train dinner at Ginga – satisfaction!
July 17, 2012
Spent a few hours at Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre, then headed into the city for Korean dinner at our favourite – Madtongsan II. My brother treated us all to $0.30 ice cream cones from McDonald’s for dessert… bless his soul! On the way home, we stopped at King George Square where the Emergency Shelter Exhibition was being displayed. More info on that HERE.
Family picture at King George bus station on the way home!
Working off the calories, badminton in the garage!
Gosh, I’m nearly a month behind… how embarrassing. I now have to base my memories on pictures we’ve taken, thank goodness I have those!
July 14, 2012
Checked out our first Rubgy Union game – St George Queensland Reds v New South Wales Waratahs! And we won! Dinner? Chicken tacos and drinks – yum.
July 15, 2012
Hit the Windsor Park close to home with Tan and Christine for lunch and some fun in the sun! Too windy for badminton but soccer certainly had us panting for air! Such a gorgeous day! In other news, my brothers toe nails are blue courtesy of my mom and sister.
Dinner at home: Gnocchi with garlic bread and eggplant tempura – mmm!
August 1, 2012
TIME’s (Towards International Medical Equality) RED Aware Day at UQ. Please CLICK HERE for more information!
‘Be Brave, Be Smart and Be Safe’ in the fight against HIV/AIDS!
The lovelies: Christine and Smiles
July 29, 2012
July 28, 2012
Meet Michael, he’s wonderful and we have a by-the-book-corny story of how we met:
I had finally landed in Australia and had just arrived at my temporary accommodation complete with 3 large and 2 small pieces of luggage (don’t judge me). The receptionist declared I needed to see the facilities and meet the other Canadians who had already arrived. Michael was the first person I was introduced to (and Yoni). She then told Michael to help me upstairs with my luggage and the rest they say, is history… 😛
Sidenote: Today is my birthday! I’m a quarter century old, woo hoo! We took our family up to Sunshine Coast to visit Noosa Heads Beach – what a lovely day with beautiful weather! And I received such lovely gifts at the end of the day, will share more in a future post!
July 26, 2012
It says this Quality Street tin of chocolates now has ‘more to share’ – I don’t know about you, but I always look for better deals to have more to eat, not share, haha! Also, this is my first time seeing an odd weight (969g) that’s rounded up to a whole number by including the weight of the packaging… weird.
Oh look at that, all gone already!